Television

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

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If there’s a waiting period filmmakers must abide before they can borrow from their own body of work, Guillermo del Toro either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. His new movie, The Shape of Water , an ageless story of true love between a human woman and a fish-man, references his filmography both at and below surface levels: It suggests a riff on Abe Sapien, the psychic ichthyoid sidekick in both Hellboy films (who is himself a riff on Creature from the Black Lagoon ’s Gill-man, fed through a copyright strainer by his creator, Mike Mignola ), but directly invokes the structure and fairy tale trappings of his 2006 breakout picture, Pan’s Labyrinth .

Del Toro has us set down in 1960s Baltimore, where Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) works the janitorial night shift for the not-at-all-shady Occam Aerospace Research Center, scrubbing the floors clean of piss stains left behind by America’s […]

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